Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Season

What does this Holiday Season mean?

I remember back when people who believed differently would not say, "God bless you." to each other because they thought it would have been some how disloyal to their own religion. It was as if some how it would have been an act of heresy to acknowledge your God would cross over some invisible line and bless them.

After my accident and brain injury I couldn't keep track of days and holidays anymore. And the divine reasons people came up with to try to explain what had happened to me and why; didn't make any sense or make me feel better. Yet, during that time I never felt more connected to whatever it is that moves through it all. Call it God or E=MC2, Tao or "The Force": I have found that "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." In other words, it is what it is.

We like to have our little formulas that we hope will help us predict outcomes. But life is a changing thing. And what people have believed defines life one year, or one decade or even a thousand years; has all proven to be well, not an absolute truth. We don't know everything. Nobody does. And yet people still try to prove they know it all. As though that was important. It isn't. It's what you do with what you know that makes a difference.

I remember my grandmother used to say, "Give me a person with an ounce of common sense over a person with a PhD any day." I didn't understand this at the time but I listened to her anyway. I remembered her words when I met kind people, honest from the inside out, who lived well. And I met educated people who lived in their own filth and couldn't get out of the way of their own rationalizations to connect with their friends or family. Of course, I have met all kinds of people. Grandma didn't mean all educated people were slobs. But I have come across a few who lived like this, which gave me an insight into what Grandma meant. Soap and water is cheap she used to say. Just give it a little elbow grease and make it shine. Grandma had grown up on a small farm in southern Illinois. She used to say a lot of cool things that have floated up to the surface of the abyss that is now what is left of my memory. And I cherish every phrase that comes back to me in her voice.

This is what I think now. I think every moment is precious. Every moment is an opportunity to show the people we love how much we love them. Every moment is a moment of hope. A moment we can make a change for the better. A moment we can stop wandering through life; distracted by shiny baubles and things that don't last. And a moment we can learn something new. It doesn't have to be an absolute truth to be of value.

It's interesting that the things that really last, beyond memories and accomplishments and possessions, won or earned, are all intangible. Love, compassion, listening, hope... this is the good stuff. Where it originated or if it extends to a galaxy far, far away doesn't matter. It is what we understand in the here and now; what we open our minds to understand with in our hearts, that's what ultimately matters.

Now that's freedom. That's the berries. That's the kind of love that can move mountains. Regardless of personal or religious beliefs: That love and compassion and grace transcends the teachings, rites and traditions that are still being practiced and also those that have been forgotten. And that love and hope and grace is something truly wonderful to share.

Have a great holiday season; loving and sharing your graciousness and compassion with those in your lives and those you meet along the way. Share it freely. Especially, when the storms come. Because will storms come and they will go. But the love you give, that is what really matters.

No comments:

Post a Comment